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    Frequently Asked Questions::What is an additional performance element and what purpose does it serve?

    What is an additional performance element and what purpose does it serve?

    Additional performance elements provide agencies another tool for communicating performance expectations important to the organization. In essence, they are dimensions or aspects of overall performance the agency wishes to communicate and appraise, but which will not be used in assigning a summary level. Such additional elements may include objectives, goals, program plans, work plans, and other methods of expressing expected performance. Like non-critical elements, they do not have to be appraised at any particular level. Their major distinctions from non-critical elements are they cannot be used in assigning a summary level and additional performance elements do not require a performance standard. They allow agencies to factor group or team performance into the performance plan of employees under two-level (Pass/Fail) summary appraisal programs.

    Including additional performance elements encourages a dialogue among supervisors, employees and peers that might not have taken place if they had not been included in a performance plan or goal statement. An agency could include items employees are not ready to have affect their ratings of record, but which may be used in the future as non-critical elements. One example would be appraising "team interaction" in a group that has not had sufficient time or experience with such concepts and behaviors. Because no standard is required, additional performance elements also might be appropriate when the organization has not decided what measurements are valid or who is the most credible rater(s).

    Assessments on additional performance elements that make distinctions above the Fully Successful or equivalent level may be used as the basis for granting awards. Such a use of additional performance elements is a perfectly reasonable way to meet the legal requirement at section 4302(a)(3) of title 5, United States Code to "use the results of performance appraisals as a basis for rewarding employees."

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